Dietary exposure to trace elements (aluminium, antimony, barium, cadmium, lead, nickel, vanadium, copper, manganese, molybdenum, germanium, lithium, strontium and tellurium) was assessed by the total diet study (TDS) method. Sixty-four pooled samples representing 96.5% of the diet in Yaoundé, Cameroon, were prepared “as consumed” before analysis. Consumption data were sourced from a households’ budget survey. Dietary exposures were compared with health-based guidance or nutritional values and to worldwide TDS results. The health-based guidance value was exceeded by ≤ 0.2% of the study population for aluminium, antimony, barium, cadmium, nickel and vanadium. For lead, the observed 95th percentile of exposure (3.05 µg kg−1 body weight day−1) equals the critical value considered by JECFA for cardiovascular effects; therefore, risk to health cannot be excluded for certain consumer groups. The population at risk of excess intake for manganese, copper, molybdenum and nickel was considered to be low (≤ 0.3%). The prevalence of inadequate intake was estimated at 5.9% for copper and was nil for molybdenum. Due to the lack of toxicological and/or nutritional consistent data to perform a risk assessment, dietary exposures to germanium, lithium, strontium and tellurium were provided as supplementary data. The food groups highest contributors to exposure were “tubers and starches” for aluminium (27%), lead (39%) and copper (26%), “cereals and cereal products” for cadmium (54%) and manganese (35%), “fruits, vegetables and oilseeds” for barium (34%), molybdenum (49%) and nickel (31%), “beverages” for antimony (27%) and “fish” for vanadium (43% – lower bound). Measures should be recommended to maintain low levels of exposure before the problem could become an important health or trade issue.